Back to school sneaker guide : The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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Shoes are more than a sole that supports our feet. More even than a protective layer between our ten phalanges and the rocky terrain traveled each day. Shoes can be iconic. They have the expressive potential to completely change the whole aesthetic of an outfit in one fell swoop. One can go from strutting around like Rihanna to run-of-the-mill with an inappropriate shoe selection. Don’t be that person.

Imagine having the perfect outfit picked out. So flattering and well thought out that even your jewelry is cohesive. But you can’t find the right shoe. The 45 minutes spent contemplating if ripped jeans were better than non-ripped jeans can easily be washed down the drain if your shoe game is off-point. It’s crucial that your shoe game is fire, especially when it comes to sneakers.

Sneakers have taken on a whole new identity in the 2017 era. A shoe once associated with running errands can now, when worn right, be considered black tie appropriate. In the wake of the sneaker transformation, it can be hard to decipher which style to choose while balancing trend and sense of self. We’ve handpicked three sneaker styles that your wardrobe has been longing for. For an added bonus, we included an outfit idea for each shoe.

Slip on sneakers

Slip-ons have been creeping their way into mainstream fashion year by year, and in 2017 they’ve broken through as a huge trend. Designed with various prints, styles and fabrics, slip-ons can be found in a majority of back to school shoe collections. Pick them up at local stores like Target, Marshall’s or TJMaxx. Don’t be afraid to invest in brands like Steve Madden, Converse or Frye for a quality leather pair. An added bonus is the sans laces feature. This takes away the struggle of tying your shoes every 20 minutes.

Outfit idea: Plain white tee, Fitted denim midi skirt, handkerchief (tied around neck) and tan suede slip-ons.

High top black vans/canvas sneakers

Vans have certainly come back into mainstream style this past year, especially the oh-so-popular high tops. A popular spring and summer sneaker, high top black vans grazed the feet of nearly every teen and young adult around. And the trend isn’t expected to slow down as cooler temperatures come our way. Staying in tune with the embroidery trend, many sneaker brands have made this their own by adding flowers and other greenery. While this often travels hand in hand with a price increase, you can easily find DIY videos/tutorials on attaching embroidered patches and pins yourself.

Outfit idea: Light wash oversized, distressed denim jacket, black graphic t-shirt, (partially tucked in), high waisted black ripped skinny jeans, rose embroidered high top vans.

Platform sneakers

Not all of us were blessed with towering heights. Having a shoe that can elevate you four inches while still being comfortable, is worth investing in if you ask me. Giving you some added height, these sneakers are made to make heads turn. They’re not your traditional sneaker because they deviate from traditional essence slightly in their hybrid qualities between a platform sandal and a tennis shoe. An added bonus: many designs have begun to integrate color into the actual platform of the shoe to give it a more versatile look. This gives a person more stylistic options in adding color to their outfit or wardrobe.

Outfit idea: Long black mesh hooded dress, white lace bralette, high waisted black fringed jeans, and white platform sneakers.

With these modern updates on run of the mill sneakers, you’re sure to wow the masses with your sense of style.

Cynthia Ntinunu can be reached at


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